I have been collecting information about Fur Trappers that arrived in Northern California prior to the Gold Rush. I have found some information, but names of those trappers are few.
I have the names of Steven Meek, Thomas McKay, and Gustav Adolph Dusel (maybe spelled Duzel) of Prussia. I have some census files in Siskiyou County where he started a family with a Native American woman.
Any information or direction on McKay or Dusel would be appreciated, they seemed to have come to the area at the same time and said to be with Hudson Bay Trappers or were independant trappers selling to HB company.
OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Hazel, what an interesting database you are gathering! I can't help specifically with the men you have asked about but are you familiar with the Hudson Bay Company Archives? It is part of the Archives of Manitoba.
You may want to visit the site, and start searching the online catalogue. You can also view some online biographies of some of their employees but I think for you the treasure trove will be in writing or visiting the Archives and requesting help with your search.
Please come back and let us know how it turned out.